Afghan War Casualty Report: July 2021

At least 161 Afghan security forces and 24 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the first eight days of July.

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The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan for the month. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

Analysis in previous reports refers to “pro-government forces” in order to include casualties for U.S. and coalition forces. Because American and NATO are withdrawing, The Times has stopped using this phrasing. It will continue to identify militias aligned with the security forces as “pro-government” to differentiate them from independent militias operating in Afghanistan.

July 1-8, 2021

At least 161 Afghan security forces and 24 civilians were killed in the first eight days of July, as the Taliban continued their offensive to capture territory. The Taliban pushed their way into Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis in Afghanistan’s northwest on Wednesday, freeing prisoners there and threatening to overrun the city itself. A convoy of Afghan security forces was ambushed by The Taliban while on their way to Qala-e-Naw, leaving roughly 65 dead and 14 others wounded, though the exact number is unclear. Forty-three troops were abducted. The convoy was retreating from Moqor district when it was attacked. In Badakhshan, the Taliban attacked security outposts last Friday in the Eighth Police District in Faizabad, the provincial capital, killing seven soldiers and 14 pro-government militia members. Four pro-government militia commanders and two army commanders were among the victims. Twenty-five other security forces were abducted by the Taliban and the police district was captured.

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks.]

July 8 Herat Province: two police officers killed

Two police officers were killed and two more wounded when the Taliban attacked security outposts in Gozarah district.

July 8 Badghis Province: five civilians and two soldiers killed

The Taliban pushed their way into a Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital, on Wednesday, freeing prisoners there and threatening to overrun the city itself. The Taliban’s assault continued into Thursday. During the fighting, five civilians and two soldiers were killed and 18 civilians were wounded. The scattered fighting resumed throughout the city.

July 7 Kapisa Province: two civilians killed

Two civilians were killed by unknown gunmen in Kohistan district. The attackers managed to escape the area, but provincial officials say an investigation is underway.

July 7 Badghis Province one civilian, two police officers and one civilian killed

The Taliban attacked Qala-e-Naw, killing two police officers and one civilian prisoner, and wounding 13 civilians. The Afghan security forces conducted an airstrike to push the Taliban from the city.

July 7 Ghazni Province: one police officer and one civilian killed

The Taliban attacked Nawar district, killing a shepherd and one police officer and wounding six police officers. The Taliban have increased their attacks on Nawar district, but they have been pushed back.

July 7 Herat Province: three soldiers killed

Three soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in a Taliban ambush in Kohsan district. The troops were attacked by the Taliban while they were traveling from Herat city to Kohsan district.

June 7 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked security checkpoints in Kandahar city, the provincial capital, killing one police officer and wounding two more. A checkpoint fell to the Taliban, who have captured surrounding districts in recent weeks.

July 6 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

A car bomb targeted a special forces police unit in the Seventh Police District in Kandahar city, killing one police officer and wounding 21 others, including civilians.

July 6 Badghis Province: 65 security forces killed

The Taliban ambushed a convoy of Afghan security forces on their way to Qala-e-Naw, killing roughly 65 security forces and wounding 14 others, though the exact number is unclear. Forty-three troops were abducted by the Taliban. The convoy was retreating from Moqor district when it was attacked. The fell district fell to the Taliban after a weekslong assault by Taliban fighters.

July 6 Herat Province: one soldier killed

While reinforcements were heading to Salma Dam, a Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in Chesht-e-Sharif. In the blast, a soldier was killed and one more was wounded.

July 6 Kunduz Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked a security in the Third Police District of Kunduz city, the provincial capital, killing one soldier and abducting seven others. The outpost fell to the Taliban. The Taliban entered Kunduz city last week, and remain locked in a street-to-street battle with security forces, displacing thousands of civilians.

July 5 Kabul Province: three police officers killed

Unknown armed attackers gunned down three police officers in the Fifth Police District of Kabul city, the capital. The attackers fled the scene, and an investigation is underway.

July 5 Herat Province: one civilian killed

A former pro-government militia member who served as militia commander in the district two years ago was gunned down by armed men in Chesht-e-Sharif district. Later in the week, the Afghan security forces left the district and the Taliban took over.

July 5 Badghis Province: one police officer killed

A police officer was killed in his outpost by a Taliban marksman in Moqor district. The attacker fled the area.

July 5 Herat Province: two police officers killed

Two police officers were killed and five more wounded in a Taliban attack on security outposts in Injil district. The fighting lasted for four hours, but the Taliban were pushed back.

July 5 Herat Province: 16 soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Chesht-e-Sharif district, killing 16 soldiers. The Taliban overran the post and seized military vehicles and weapons. No one in the outpost survived. Later in the week, the Afghan security forces left the district and the Taliban took over.

July 5 Takhar Province: three police officers and one civilian killed

Three police officers and a civilian were killed and a police officer was wounded in a clash between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces in the Second Police District of Taliqan, the provincial capital.

July 5 Kabul Province: one civilian killed

An National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan employee was killed by unknown armed men in Kabul’s Fifth Police District. The attackers managed to escape the area.

July 4 Kandahar Province: one civilian killed

A magnetic bomb attached to a vehicle exploded in front of the governor’s compound in Kandahar city, killing the governor’s secretary. No groups have claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

July 4 Herat Province: two soldiers killed

Two soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on security outposts in Pashto Zarghoon district. After several hours of fighting, the Taliban were pushed back.

July 4 Parwan Province: one militia member killed

A pro-government militia member was killed in a Taliban attack on a security outpost in Bagram district.

July 4 Paktia Province: four civilians killed

A vehicle carrying civilians was hit by a roadside bomb in the Fourth Police District of Gardiz, the provincial capital, killing four civilians, including a child. The victims are all members of one family.

July 4 Parwan Province: one police officer killed

In a Taliban attack on security outposts in Shinwari district, one police officer was killed, and three others were wounded, but the Taliban were Pushed back. The next morning, the Afghan security forces retreated from the district without any fighting and the Taliban took over.

July 4 Badghis Province: two soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts in Moqor district center, killing two soldiers and wounding two soldiers and three police officers. The Afghan Air Force carried out strikes to push out the Taliban, killing 18 Taliban fighters and wounding 13 others, provincial officials claim.

July 4 Herat Province: three civilians killed

A mortar blast in Farsi district killed three children and wounded eight others. Local officials blamed the Taliban for the mortar.

July 3 Daikundi Province: two security forces killed

One police officer and a pro-government militia member were killed and three more wounded in a Taliban attack in Pato district.

July 3 Balkh Province: one militia member killed

A pro-government militia member was wounded during the clash between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces in Kaldar district. He was taken to the hospital where doctors fought to save his life, but he died.

July 3 Badghis Province: two civilians killed

A mortar shell hit a house in Qala-e-Naw, killing two civilians. Provincial officials said that the Taliban were behind the attack, but the Taliban blamed the government.

July 3 Badghis Province: five N.D.S. officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Qala-e-Naw, killing five officers of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, and wounding four others.

July 3 Herat Province: four soldiers killed

Four commandos were killed during the Taliban attack on security outposts in Pashto Zarghoon district. The fighting continued for a few hours, but the Taliban were pushed back.

July 2 Paktia Province: seven civilians killed

Seven civilians were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Ahmad Aba district.

July 2 Ghor Province: one soldier killed

One soldier was gunned down by Taliban fighters in Firoz Koh, the provincial capital. The attackers managed to escape from the area on a motorcycle.

July 2 Badakhshan Province: 21 security forces killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts in the Eighth Police District in Faizabad, the provincial capital, killing seven soldiers and 14 pro-government militia members. Four pro-government militia commanders and two army commanders were among the victims. Twenty-five other security forces were abducted by the Taliban and the police district was captured.

July 1 Takhar Province: eight soldiers killed

Eight soldiers, including an army commander, were killed when the Taliban attacked a security outpost in Rustaq district. The fighting lasted for four hours, but the Taliban retreated. Earlier in the week, the Taliban overran the district.

July 1 Kunduz Province: three police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Fourth Police District of Kunduz city, the provincial capital, killing three police officers and capturing the outpost.

July 1 Herat Province: one police officer killed

A police officer was killed and three more wounded in a Taliban attack in Ghoryan district center. After hours of clashes, the Taliban were pushed back.

Reporting was contributed by Zabihullah Ghazi from Jalalabad, Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost, Taimoor Shah from Kandahar and Najim Rahim from Kabul.

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